Sunsets, Fireworks and Art, Oh My! Dine With a View in Orlando
For an incredible view with your dinner, visit these restaurants during Visit Orlando's Magical Dining® Month 2017.
If you can take your eyes off each other, you'll be treated to breathtaking sunset views, modern art, salsa dancing, an amazing fireworks display and beautiful iconic landmarks at participating restaurants during Visit Orlando's Magical Dining® Month. Awesome optics are available year-round, but be sure to visit during Aug. 25–Oct. 12, 2017, to savor the sights along with bargain $35, prix-fixe menus at Tapa Toro, 1921 by Norman Van Aken, Sharks Underwater Grill, Mango's Tropical Café, Canvas, Eleven and Paddlefish.
Snag a seat on the patio at this ICON Orlando 360 destination and you can eye ICON Orlando while you enjoy three courses of award-winning Spanish cuisine by Chef Wendy Lopez. Just for Magical Dining, the chicken and vegetable paella is scaled down from family-sized to a single serving, so you won't have to sweet talk your sweetie into sharing to try this don't-miss dish. Bookend with a tasty tapa of meatballs or mussels with chorizo and a sweet sampling of churros or crema Catalana for an authentic Spanish repast.
1921 by Norman Van Aken
There's so much to love about this beautiful restaurant that you won't mind the 30-minute drive from Orlando to charming Mount Dora, the perfect place for a stroll before or after dinner. Once inside, you'll be blown away by the stunning décor, which gives pride of place to a bevy of wall hangings, sculptures and furnishings on loan from the Modernism Museum across the street. It's a beautiful backdrop for Chef Van Aken's modern Florida cuisine, which highlights local and heritage ingredients like Seminole pumpkin, conch and Kurobuta pork.
SeaWorld Orlando Sharks Underwater Grill
There's no admission required for the spine-tingling views at this full-service spot inside SeaWorld Orlando. Just book your reservation from 3-5 p.m. to be escorted directly into the restaurant, where sharks swim along the wall of water in full view of diners enjoying seafood specialties at this award-winning restaurant. Once dinner is over, you can roam the park until closing and ride to your heart's content.
Mango's Tropical Cafe
All the world — and all the dining room — is a stage at this action-packed International Drive hotspot, which showcases incredible talent in vibrant stage shows every night of the week. Carnival-style spectaculars featuring live dancing and music run the gamut from salsa, merengue and Cuban conga to hip-hop, so be careful not to spill your mojito when you inevitably jump up and shimmy.
Canvas Restaurant & Market
Take in the sunset over Lake Nona from the sleek and breezy open-air dining room at this laid-back restaurant just 15 minutes from Orlando International Airport. Seasonal and regional ingredients abound on the menu, which features new American cuisine with a Southern and Latin American flair. Entrée choices include house-made tagliatelle with Prince Edward Island mussels, pancetta and roasted corn; grilled baby back ribs with ancho chile and collard greens; or Nashville hot chicken with pickled-okra-and-cucumber relish and a warm biscuit.
The only thing that could make Disney's fireworks even more fun is watching them during a sumptuous steak dinner. Views of the action are on the nightly bill of fare at Reunion Resort's modern steakhouse on the 11th floor. But if you think the fireworks are breathtaking, wait until you try the food. Chef Jake Brenchley's Magical Dining menu includes twists on favorites like a "baseball" sirloin with duck-fat potatoes or salmon with cheese grits and lobster-and-crab ragu.
Dine right on the water and enjoy the sights and sounds of Disney Springs at this contemporary riverboat on Lake Buena Vista. With fish and shellfish from the Gulf, east and west coasts arriving daily, fresh takes on comforting classics include New England clam chowder, beer-battered fish with sweet potato fries, or shrimp with cheddar grits and black pepper sauce. Land fans can sup on pork chops with homemade applesauce or chicken with edamame-and-bacon succotash.
Dine With a View in Orlando
With so many incredible options to choose from, you can't go wrong with any of these picks. Better yet, make several reservations while there's time. Visit Orlando's Magical Dining® Month will be over before you know it.
Kristen Manieri is the founder and editor of Orlando Date Night Guide, the area's most comprehensive online resource for couples. Housing thousands of ideas and recommendations for date night — including cooking classes, hidden gem restaurants and unique experiences — Orlando Date Night Guide will celebrate its 10th anniversary in October 2017.
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